APRIL 2016 WINNER

Growing Health

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Give a keyhole garden to a household with orphaned children

Cost: $25

Although it is a long-standing cultural tradition in Zimbabwe for extended family members to care for orphaned children, these vital support networks are collapsing. HIV/AIDS, contaminated water, disease, severe drought, malnutrition, and unemployment rates over 85% are devastating families--leaving orphaned children extremely vulnerable to neglect and deprivation, with many being left to fend for themselves in child-headed households.

Bopoma Villages is working to strengthen and equip families living in extreme poverty in rural Zimbabwe to meet their own needs and provide homes and loving care for orphaned children in their communities. Many orphaned children in Zimbabwe live with a loving grandmother or other relative, but still face deprivation because their caregivers are unable to provide for even their most basic needs. One of Bopoma Villages’strategies to keep orphaned children in families is to train their caregivers to grow high-nutrient vegetables in “keyhole” gardens using biointensive farming techniques.

These methods produce highly productive gardens, with minimal water and no fertilizers or chemicals. The soil is continuously nourished through effective composting. Families are also taught what to grow and eat to improve their health and build resistance to disease. Keyhole gardens are one of six high-impact, low or no-cost interventions that form part of Bopoma Villages’ Healthy Homes program developed to help families living in extreme poverty move towards health and self-reliance.

For $25, Bopoma Villages will provide a household with training, seeds, seedlings,and assistance to build a keyhole garden. They are currently working to provide 220 households caring for 426 orphaned children with gardens that will supply them with a life-giving harvest of nutritious vegetables all year round.

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